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Seasonal and spatial variations of snow chemistry on Mount Logan, Yukon, Canada

  • Kumiko Goto-Azuma (a1), Roy M. Koerner (a2), Michael N. Demuth (a2) and Okitsugu Watanabe (a1)

Abstract

Three ice cores were recovered on or near Mount Logan, Yukon, Canada, at 3017, 4135 and 5340 ma.s.l. in 2002. Prior to ice-core drilling, we collected snow-pit and shallow core samples from Mount Logan in 2001 to study seasonal and spatial variations of snow chemistry. We dug snow pits at six sites between 2420 and 5340 m a.s.l. before the beginning of the melt season, with the exception of a pit at 3180 m a.s.l., where the melt season had just started but had affected only the near-surface stratigraphy. Three of the pits were extended deeper with a shallow core. The snow-pit and core samples were analyzed for ion chemistry and δ18O. A series of depth profiles of ions and δ18O shows spatial variations, though characteristic peaks can usually be traced across all the profiles. Concentrations and deposition fluxes of Na+ and Cl, which are mainly of sea-salt origin, decrease with altitude. On the other hand, deposition fluxes of NO3 , SO4 2–, Ca2+ and NH4 + show a weak positive relationship with elevation below the summit plateau. Stable isotopes (δ18O) decrease with altitude, with a distinctive jump between 3200 and 4500 m a.s.l., as was reported previously. Stable isotopes (δ18O), Cl, CH3SO3 (MSA), Na+ and Ca2+ show clear seasonal variations, which would enable us to date the cores by annual-layer counting.

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References

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